Byron rules plaintiff's $62k jury verdict was enough

By Steve Korris | Aug 31, 2006

Nicholas Byron

Walter Spearman won a $62,807.47 jury verdict in Madison County in May, but he thought he should have won more.

After hearing the verdict Spearman asked Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron for a new trial on damages, but Byron declared in August that the verdict would stand.

Spearman sued Michael Sunley in 2004, claiming Sunley caused a traffic crash that injured him.

Byron brought the case to trial May 15.

Spearman's attorney, Robert Edmonds of Alton, asked jurors to award damages for past and future medical expenses, past and future disfigurement, past and future disability, and past and future pain and suffering.

Jurors retired at the close of evidence May 17. They went home for dinner and returned the next day to find in Spearman's favor.

Jurors awarded Spearman $62,807.47 for past medical expenses, but they awarded him nothing on his other claims.

Edmonds moved June 2 for a new trial on damages, calling the verdict "manifestly inadequate."

Edmonds wrote that jurors ignored proof of damages and ignored deposition testimony of two physicians who treated Spearman.

Attorney Stephen Mudge of Edwardsville, representing Sunley, asked Byron to defer to the jury verdict.

At an Aug. 18 hearing Byron deferred to the jury. He signed an order stating that there was no reason to delay enforcement of the verdict.

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